R is for Race: A Stock Car Alphabet by Brad Herzog. Illustrated by Jane Gilltrap Bready. Book Review.

If you have a reluctant reader in your house who enjoys stock-car racing, this is the book for him or her. The alphabet is simply a way to organize the material and not the main feature of this text. Each page has a full-page illustration or a double spread featuring something to do with modern or historical stock-car racing. There is a short four-line rhyme accompanying each letter. But, the most additional information is found in a text bar down the side.

For example, “A is early auto races held so long ago. What was so speedy then now seems rather slow.” The text box accompanying this page talks about the first auto race in America taking place in Illinois on Thanksgiving Day in 1895. It compares it to the speed of cars 14 years later. It adds more about A is for Bobby Allison who won the Daytona 500 three times.

The illustrations are realistic and detailed. Beady has had much experience with cars and racing and this shows in her careful and engaging work. Illustrations capture various viewpoints from inside the actual vehicle to the crew pit to the spectators.

The information in the text bars reveals tidbits about the need of stock-cars from tachometers to tires. It explains the rules, talks about famous racers like Dale Earnhardt, examines the cars, mentions several important racing venues, and explores the evolution of the sport.

This book is sure to become a favorite of stock-car young fans.

Click on the covers to buy the books or for more information.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages



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